"Roma raise your voice - political participation of Sinti and Roma in Germany"
A project of EZAF, OSCE, ODIHR and CPRSI on the anticipated national parliamentary elections in Germany 2005 with respect of the participation of Sinti and Roma
The project is designed on the background that the Sinti and Roma population in Germany appears to be marginalised in regard of primary political activities, mass-parties and the political agenda. The reasons therefore are multi-layered. Though Sinti and Roma live since over 600 years in Germany, they did not enter into the primary political system. Concerning these observations, an analysis of the circumstances and reasons is needed; the project aims on a secondary level to do a first step in this regard.
Primarily, the project targets the institutional level. In this regard, Sinti and Roma are organised in different Sinti and Roma organisations. These organisations represent Sinti and Roma living in Germany, with and without German citizenship. Factually regarded, these organisation are only provisory integrated into the German political landscape; observing their political participation as representatives of the Sinti and Roma population, they seem not to be involved in shaping political initiatives (as suggested in "OSCE Des. 3/03 Action Plan on improving the situation of Roma and Sinti within the OSCE area"). Although, due to their structures and networks, these organisations are able to serve as an appropriate platform for representation, cooperation with political actors and participation in the political system in Germany, it remains difficult for them to find a forum for their political aims.
As in Germany, parties are the major political forces - it is thus, from the perspective of political participation, important that Sinti and Roma engage themselves into parties as well as the parties seek for cooperation with Sinti and Roma representatives resp. organisations.
In this respect and based on implications of "OSCE Des. 3/03" and the election monitoring-mandate of the OSCE and ODHIR, the project aims:
- to evaluate the participation of Sinti and Roma in the German national elections (Analysis of political participation of Sinti and Roma);
- to evaluate the election agendas of the participating parties in the context of Roma relevant issues (Analysis of policies affecting the Sinti and Roma);
- to identify the need for information on "OSCE Des. 3/03" to non-Roma policy makers as well as Sinti and Roma organisations;
- raise awareness among political actors for Sinti and Roma issues and seek for feedback from these actors on these issues;
- to promote and inform the Sinti and Roma population through their leaders about "OSCE Des. 3/03"; and
- to raise awareness among Sinti and Roma for political participation; and thereby motivate them to exercise participation.